Monday, December 25th, 1995. Merry Christmas…er…in 1995. Nitro came to us from the Richmond Civic Center in Augusta, Georgia as the go home show for Starrcade 1995. This episode was advertised to feature Sting versus Big Bubba. Dean Malenko is in action against Mr. JL in what should be a great match. The big draw for this show is Ric Flair battling WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Savage. Let’s see what happens!
Lex Luger vs Scotty Riggs
No entrance for Riggs here, that’s never a good sign! Luger has Jimmy Hart at ringside making all sorts of noise. Luger is in control early with strikes and power moves, but Riggs comes back with a pair of dropkicks, sending Lex to the outside. Riggs starts working over Luger’s left arm with a couple of arm ringers and arm drags. Riggs misses a dropkick but scores a running crossbody for a near fall. Luger reverses a suplex with one of his own, leaving Riggs draped over the top rope before clotheslining him off the apron. A big vertical suplex brings Riggs back in the ring the hard way but he starts to come back with a back body drop and an inside cradle for a 2 count. Luger dodges a top rope dropkick and hits a big powerslam before locking on the Torture Rack for the submission victory. This was an alright match, nothing to write home about though.
Winner: Lex Luger via pinfall
Mean Gene is on the ramp with Sting asking about the situation with Lex Luger. Sting says that Luger is a friend and he’s trying to bring him back but he doesn’t hold Ric Flair in the same regard. He’s ready to lock on the Scorpion Death Lock and never let it go. Sting also warns the contingent from New Japan that at Starrcade, they will be on WCW’s turf.
Sting vs Big Bubba
Big Bubba is in control early, using big power moves and strikes. Sting battles back and hits a facebuster that forces Big Bubba to roll out of the ring. Sting gives chase and hits another facebuster, this time outside the ring. Bubba comes back in the ring and rakes Stinger’s eyes to gain the upper hand before a big splash into the corner. Sting goes up to the top, but Bubba pokes him in the eyes and goes to toss him off the turnbuckle, but Sting counters it with a roll up for the pin victory. This was a bit of a plodding match that just didn’t seem to flow well.
Winner: Sting via pinfall
Mean Gene is on the ramp with Jimmy Hart and Lex Luger. Luger says there is nothing between him and Sting besides their friendship. Luger says he is the uncrowned champion. Jimmy Hart starts talking but Sgt. Craig Pittman comes out and asks Hart if he’ll manage him. Hart has him to take off his shirt and that’s why he won’t manage Pittman.
Dean Malenko vs Mr. JL
Malenko is in control early and hits an amazing snap capture suplex and seemlessly floats over for the near fall. Mr. JL comes back with a flying headscissors and a running cannonball from the apron. JL brings Malenko back into the ring with a suplex but Malenko counters a monkey flip. JL hits a nice sitout powerbomb for a near fall. Malenko appears to return the favor but turns it into a hot shot across the top rope. Both climb to the top rope, but Malenko brings JL down into a gut buster from the second rope. JL looks like he may have injured his arm, and Malenko locks in what commentary calls the “Malenko Leg Lock” and gets the victory. This match was fast paced and a lot of fun to watch. Both of these guys are absolute studs in the ring and deserve every accolade they get.
Winner: Dean Malenko via submission
Mean Gene is on the ramp again, this time with Ric Flair. Flair is interrupted by Jimmy Hart who apologizes for Kevin Sullivan interrupting him last week but says he owes Ric Flair one for saving his life. Jimmy asks if he can be at ringside for Flair tonight and Ric agrees to have him.
Ric Flair vs Randy Savage – WCW World Heavyweight Championship
This is a dream match for me, can’t wait for this one! Ric is in control early, poking the eyes but gets his knee wrapped around the ring post by Savage. Randy locks in a figure four leglock of his own but Ric makes it to the ropes. Ric hits an atomic drop and looks for a figure four, but gets rolled up by Savage for a near fall. Ric sends Savage to the outside and distracts the ref while Jimmy Hart kicks Randy repeatedly. Flair hangs Savage up over the top rope and then brings him back in the ring and hits a big back elbow. Savage starts a comeback with a big clothesline and a backslide for a near fall. Savage has Flair in the corner, and behind the ref’s back.
Flair hits Savage below the belt and hits a big vertical suplex. Savage starts coming back, but misses a top rope double axe handle to the outside. Savage puts Ric in the sleeper hold, but Flair counters out with a shin breaker. Randy is having a hard time standing after that attack and Flair goes to work on the leg. Flair locks in the figure four leglock and uses the ropes for leverage but Randy gets to the ropes himself to break the hold. Flair goes to the top rope and in typical fashion, he gets tossed from the top rope. Randy looks to be mounting a comeback but again Flair goes to the eyes and locks on the sleeper hold. Savage counters it and counters a piledriver attempt. Luger comes into the ring and attacks Savage to cause the disqualification. Sting comes out as well and is working over Flair while Savage sends Luger out of the ring. Sting and Savage come face to face and trade some shoves as the show goes off the air.
Winner: Ric Flair via DQ
So, there’s our build to Starrcade! This was an episode of good matches and subpar segments between. Too many of WCW’s top talent have the 1980’s style of promos. Yell into the mic and threaten to beat someone up. It will be interesting to watch how that develops over the next year or so.